Well, this is certainly some news we didn’t expect to be hearing today: a Joker origin movie is in the early stages of development.
As per Deadline, Warners Bros. Pictures and DC have plans to explore the Clown Prince of Crime’s early days, with The Hangover’s Tod Phillips on board to pen the screenplay along with 8 Mile’s Scott Silver. Additionally, it’s believed that Phillips will also direct the picture, too.
This Joker effort will be the first film under a new banner that The WB has yet to give an official title to. Said banner will look to delve deeper into the stories of certain DC Comics characters and deliver movies that have different actors playing these famed heroes and villains. And no, it’s very much still August, so this isn’t some barmy April Fools gag. And yes, this does indeed mean that Jared Leto won’t be playing the Jester of Genocide in this film.
Leto, of course, previously played Mr. J in the so-so Suicide Squad, with his take on Batman’s greatest nemesis firmly splitting opinion amongst fans and critics. To make things even more muddled, Leto will be reprising the Joker gig for the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn-driven Gotham City Sirens.
From the Deadline report, it’s said that the movie will be developed as a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-‘80s Gotham City” that’s meant to feel like Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or The King of Comedy. As it happens, the legendary Scorsese is actually involved in this picture in a producing capacity.
At first, you could maybe think that a non-Leto starring Joker flick could mean either a change in casting or that it merely gives more credence to the idea that the Scarlet Speedster-centred Flashpoint film will indeed reshape the DCEU completely. Then there’s the school of thought that maybe this is the start of an almost Elseworlds-based realm of movies. With the news that Leto is still sticking around, just not featuring as the Harlequin of Hate here, it has us all a little stumped as to what the thought process is right now at Warner Brothers. Then again, given some of the choices already made for the DCEU, that would almost be like trying to rationalise one of Mr. J’s famed erratic, bonkers schemes.
As ever, expect more on all of this as we get it.
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